Keeping score

By John Healey | 17 March 2015
  • John Healey

‘Oppositions don’t win elections, governments lose them’, the saying goes. So does this government deserve to lose in May?

The economy dominates political debate, especially in this week of the final Budget, so it is on their economic record that this coalition government should be judged.

But what was their long-term economic plan? What were the pledges the coalition made? And how have they fared when marked against the economic tests they set themselves in their first Budget in 2010? Here’s my end of-Parliament economic scorecard.

First growth. Every economy grows again after recession, and in May 2010 the UK economy was recovering strongly after the sharpest, deepest recession in almost a century caused by the global banking crisis. The economy was growing quarter-on-quarter at a 4% annualised rate, and George Osborne forecast in that first Budget that the British economy would grow at an average rate of 2.4% a year between 2010 and 2014. The policies brought in then choked off Britain’s economic recovery. By the end of 2010 growth had fallen to zero and our average growth from 2011 to 2014 has been just 1.7% – the slowest recovery from recession in over 100 years.

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